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Fugitive ‘speedboat killer’ used £100,000 in legal aid to fund appeal for manslaughter conviction

A fugitive who is convicted of manslaughter used £100,000 in legal aid to fund his trial and appeal - all while on the run.

Jack Shepherd went into hiding while he was on trial for the 2015 death of 24-year-old Charlotte Brown, and despite refusing to give himself up to authorities, has won the right to appeal his conviction in December 2018.

It’s sparking public outrage and even a demand from Theresa May to hand himself in to face justice.

This has been a devastating blow to the Brown family, who say they simply want justice for their daughter.

Ms Brown’s sister Vicky told Good Morning Britain: “We thought we were getting close to that but the fact that he hasn’t come back to serve a day… we just find it unfathomable.”

Ms Brown and Shepherd were on their first date, when he took her for a joyride on his speedboat along the Thames. Shepherd had been drinking.

The boat was going full-throttle when it hit a submerged log and threw both of them into freezing waters.

He was found clinging to the hull of his boat, and Ms Brown was found unconscious sometime later, though paramedics’ efforts to revive her failed.

Shepherd was put on conditional bail, and didn’t have his passport revoked. While he attended his pre-trial hearing, he didn’t turn up to the first official trial day. It was clear at that point he had absconded, but the jury weren’t notified of this.

It was later revealed he was still emailing his lawyers while on the run. However, enough evidence was presented to prove Shepherd’s negligence caused Ms Brown’s death.

Shepherd had been previously stopped by police for his reckless driving, and was advised on wearing a life jacket.

He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison - all while he was in hiding.

In a statement to Good Morning Britain, Metropolitan police said they don’t have any tangible evidence of Shepherd’s whereabouts, but believe they have a few leads.

“Recent media reporting has generated a number of lines of enquiry which we’re actively following and are working closely with other specialist departments to track, trace and arrest him wherever he is in the world.”

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